Super Hornet performance question

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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edpop

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Unread post13 Oct 2011, 18:03

I am reading a book on the development of the Super Hornet. The article says they enlarged the wing to add more weapons stations. A problem came up with the deployment of the weapons from these pylons so they had to angle the pylons outward at the leading edge by 3 or 4 degrees. This obviously increases drag and therefore range and performance. Any idea what kind of numbers we are talking about? 1%, 5%, 10% etc?????????????????? According to the book the Super Hornet still exceeds the range and weapons carrying ability of the legacy Hornet.

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Ed
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southernphantom

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Unread post13 Oct 2011, 18:42

I don't know the specific numbers, but the drag penalty and subsequent performance decreases are significant to the point that the E/F can allegedly not exceed M1.0 at sea level
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weez

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Unread post13 Oct 2011, 18:45

I'm not sure of actual percentages for you, edpop, but there is no doubt those canted pylons contribute significantly to the Super Hornet's drag. The Rhino still enjoys a range advantage and weapons bring back capability over the legacy aircraft, but the Hornet drivers pride themselves on their aircrafts superior acceleration and maneuverability.
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aaam

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Unread post13 Oct 2011, 19:38

edpop wrote:I am reading a book on the development of the Super Hornet. The article says they enlarged the wing to add more weapons stations. A problem came up with the deployment of the weapons from these pylons so they had to angle the pylons outward at the leading edge by 3 or 4 degrees. This obviously increases drag and therefore range and performance. Any idea what kind of numbers we are talking about? 1%, 5%, 10% etc?????????????????? According to the book the Super Hornet still exceeds the range and weapons carrying ability of the legacy Hornet.

Thanks,
Ed


When the publicity was first ramping up for the Super Hornet, much was made of the SH's two additional pylons. It was touted that with these pylons more weapons could be carried than on the regular Bug. The word "carried" was parsed very carefully, as were many of the claims for the SH early on. The statement was completely true. More weapons could be carried on the Super Bug due to the new weapons stations. What was not publicized was that powered weapons could not actually be fired from these two new stations due to clearance problems from the fuselage and possibly intake ingestion (not sure about the latter). As more and more critics caught on to this it became somewhat of an embarrassment, since in effect this meant that those pylons were simply to carry more external fuel. Plus, it limited what the plane could do. With the deaths of the F-14D and the A/FX (remember, F/A-18E/F was supposed to be an interim aircraft pending fielding of the latter), the Navy really had nowhere else to go. So, those inner pylons were toed outward, which solved the fuselage interference problem. Of course, that now meant there was an interference issue with the outer pylons so they were toed out as well.

While this had little impact on the SH with clean wings, it did increase drag when it was actually carrying weapons. I don't know the actual number, I've heard 4- 8%, but I don't have any hard data or reliable confirmation--may not have ever been revealed, and would vary with external load. This is significant because lowered drag is where most of the SH's increased range is supposed to come from (it also carries a lot of extra fuel, but the F414s have a higher fuel burn than the F404s). Now, since it was a Gov't initiated change that toed out the pylons, Boeing/NG can not be penalized if the SH range goes down, because supposedly the a/c met the final range requirement in the original configuration. How much that is over the regular Bug always was a matter of debate. The noted aviation writer James Stevenson has written that if you put the SH's larger external tanks on the legacy Hornet (yes, it can use them), the only scenario where the E/F exceeds the legacy Hornet's range is in the ground attack mission where the increase in radius is 64 miles. Dunno, don't follow it that closely anymore.
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geogen

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Unread post14 Oct 2011, 06:26

I'm wondering if some kind of composite 'plate' could be designed to fit the length of both heavy SUU-79 wing stations and bolt-on a single pylon somewhere between the two stations?

This way the Super could have a more aerodynamically streamlined heavy pylon instead of the outward toed pylons, as well as be able to arm the far outside wing pylons and the fuselage points too, without any additional drag other than normal stores drag? This would imply a CFT + centerline Tank configuration as opposed to the wing EFT load-out and could therefore free up the new central heavy point for other stores?
The Super-Viper has not yet begun to concede.
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edpop

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Unread post14 Oct 2011, 06:31

Thanks for all your answers. I would assume on the Growler that the pylons for hanging all the electronic warfare equipment would not be angled out since that equipment stays with the aircraft all the time.????????
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geogen

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Unread post14 Oct 2011, 06:55

Nope, even under the current pylon settings, the Growler's 'pods' are 'angled out'.
The Super-Viper has not yet begun to concede.
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aaam

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Unread post17 Oct 2011, 07:03

geogen wrote:Nope, even under the current pylon settings, the Growler's 'pods' are 'angled out'.


Plus, it would reduce compatibility and be too expensive to have one design for the Super Bug and another for the Electric Bug.
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golden_eagle

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Unread post29 Oct 2011, 20:52

The pods still have to leave the aircraft cleanly if necessary to jettison them...
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haavarla

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Unread post30 Oct 2011, 00:51

I'm not sure of actual percentages for you, edpop, but there is no doubt those canted pylons contribute significantly to the Super Hornet's drag. The Rhino still enjoys a range advantage and weapons bring back capability over the legacy aircraft, but the Hornet drivers pride themselves on their aircrafts superior acceleration and maneuverability.


Well you could have fooled me :devil:
http://www.youtube.com/user/KonstantinK ... nGQMWbbIxQ
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aaam

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Unread post01 Nov 2011, 18:09

haavarla wrote:
I'm not sure of actual percentages for you, edpop, but there is no doubt those canted pylons contribute significantly to the Super Hornet's drag. The Rhino still enjoys a range advantage and weapons bring back capability over the legacy aircraft, but the Hornet drivers pride themselves on their aircrafts superior acceleration and maneuverability.


Well you could have fooled me :devil:
http://www.youtube.com/user/KonstantinK ... nGQMWbbIxQ


Weez no doubt is referring to the acceleration and maneuverability of the regular Bug vs. the Super, not relative to a/c such as the SU-34. On the other hand, though, they have managed over a period of twenty years to crank out a few more Bugs than the SU-34 production quantity (as of Dec., 2010) of six.

Usually, it's us who are making the rationale, but in this case it would be the Russians, for a change, who would be saying, "The best they have isn't as good as what we haven't got".
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haavarla

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Unread post01 Nov 2011, 20:10

Weez no doubt is referring to the acceleration and maneuverability of the regular Bug vs. the Super, not relative to a/c such as the SU-34. On the other hand, though, they have managed over a period of twenty years to crank out a few more Bugs than the SU-34 production quantity (as of Dec., 2010) of six.


Strange.. AFAIK, the F-18 was not designed with a strike mission profile in mind, so its a moot point.
The Su-34 however are an direct competitor vs most of the Rhino mission profiles.. bar CV operation. Hense my post above.
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aaam

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Unread post01 Nov 2011, 22:07

haavarla wrote:
Weez no doubt is referring to the acceleration and maneuverability of the regular Bug vs. the Super, not relative to a/c such as the SU-34. On the other hand, though, they have managed over a period of twenty years to crank out a few more Bugs than the SU-34 production quantity (as of Dec., 2010) of six.


Strange.. AFAIK, the F-18 was not designed with a strike mission profile in mind, so its a moot point.
The Su-34 however are an direct competitor vs most of the Rhino mission profiles.. bar CV operation. Hense my post above.


Assume your first sentence is about the legacy Bug. Originally there were to be two versions of the Hornet, the F-18, fighter, and the A-18, attack/strike. The Hornet group later said the aircraft was so versatile that the systems could be combined into one airframe equally good at both, thus the designation F/A-18.

The A-D models are more agile than the E/Fs.

SU-34 is set up for longer ranged strike but does retain its Flanker performance. As far as barring CV operation, don't forget that it is of the same family as the SU-27/33KUB.
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weez

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Unread post01 Nov 2011, 22:07

haavarla wrote:
Weez no doubt is referring to the acceleration and maneuverability of the regular Bug vs. the Super, not relative to a/c such as the SU-34. On the other hand, though, they have managed over a period of twenty years to crank out a few more Bugs than the SU-34 production quantity (as of Dec., 2010) of six.


Strange.. AFAIK, the F-18 was not designed with a strike mission profile in mind, so its a moot point.
The Su-34 however are an direct competitor vs most of the Rhino mission profiles.. bar CV operation. Hense my post above.


aaam: That is exactly what I was trying to say, thank you. Perhaps I should have worded it better.

Having said that, I think I'm going to go find a thread about another fighter and randomly say how (fill in the blank) is better. :wink:
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geogen

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Unread post02 Nov 2011, 00:28

Regarding Super Hornet performance, it's better utility would probably be as a stand-off missile truck (in both a2a and a2g) and keep it under mach .85?
The Super-Viper has not yet begun to concede.
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